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Court Overturns Convictions of Arizona Woman on Death Row
Fox News ^ | 03/15/2013

Posted on 03/15/2013 10:43:41 PM PDT by nickcarraway

A federal appeals court overturned the convictions of an Arizona woman who was sentenced to die after being found guilty of orchestrating a gruesome plot to murder her 4-year-old son for insurance money in 1989.

The court ruled Debra Jean Milke's case was tainted by a detective with a history of lying under oath.

(Excerpt) Read more at foxnews.com ...


TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Extended News; News/Current Events; US: Arizona
KEYWORDS: arizona; debrajeanmilke

1 posted on 03/15/2013 10:43:41 PM PDT by nickcarraway
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To: nickcarraway

If the detective lied to put her on death row, justice requires that he be punished by the same fate that would have befallen her if his lies had stuck: death.


2 posted on 03/15/2013 10:45:21 PM PDT by coloradan (The US has become a banana republic, except without the bananas - or the republic.)
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To: nickcarraway
Sounds like a technicality to me..

The two other perps confessed but what did they have to gain without her collecting the insurance money and distributing a cut to them?

Unbelievable.

3 posted on 03/15/2013 11:06:13 PM PDT by Aria ( 2008 & 2012 weren't elections - they were coup d'etats.)
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To: coloradan

Firstly, she wasn’t executed. So at worst it’d be attempted murder on the part of a a perjurous detective. I don’t think you can get death even if you try to kill the president. Unless they considered it treason.

Secondly, the story doesn’t say the detective deliberately lied with intent to fry this woman. It just says he has a history of lying.


4 posted on 03/15/2013 11:10:29 PM PDT by Tublecane
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To: Aria

The conviction was based on the detective’s claim that Milke confessed. The detective had a history of lying under oath. That’s a “technicality”?


5 posted on 03/15/2013 11:13:47 PM PDT by ReignOfError
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To: nickcarraway
On the bright side, if she is now released from the "protective custody" of prison, the boy's father can get rid her. (shrug) I've always said, anybody who depends on the "justice system" for justice is a fool. If the system works for you, okay. Just don't ever depend on it to work. And when it doesn't, well... then it's up to you what to do about it.
6 posted on 03/15/2013 11:15:42 PM PDT by Lancey Howard
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To: nickcarraway

I don’t know if this lady is guilty or innocent.

I will say this. Had I sat on this jury it had to be excrutiating.

And had I later found out that there was a known liar as a “witness”, I would be devastaed by the verdict and sentence I might have arrived at.


7 posted on 03/15/2013 11:17:15 PM PDT by berdie
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To: ReignOfError

Well I just don’t see a mother dressing her 4 year old up to go see Santa and sending him off with 2 men and no going along herself. And the two men confessed to the deed.

So I suppose it’s circumstantial but she sure sounds guilty to me. And I have to wonder what this history of lying is. Over zealousness?


8 posted on 03/15/2013 11:21:24 PM PDT by Aria ( 2008 & 2012 weren't elections - they were coup d'etats.)
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To: nickcarraway
The two men convicted in the Milke's case, Roger Scott and former Milke roommate James Styers, are both on death row at a prison in Florence.

Scott confessed during a police interrogation and led detectives to the boy's body, but neither Scott or Styers would testify against Milke.

I bet at least one of them will now.

9 posted on 03/15/2013 11:21:51 PM PDT by Lancey Howard
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To: nickcarraway

what she did isn’t changed by the detective’s bad history.

that said, this guy should never have been allowed to have a second incident of lying under oath. fired, tried and jailed the first time it was discovered.


10 posted on 03/15/2013 11:23:19 PM PDT by Secret Agent Man (I can neither confirm or deny that; even if I could, I couldn't - it's classified.)
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To: Aria

Valid questions, and I’m certainly not convinced she’s innocent. The process and the outcome are two separate considerations, both important — and even if the outcome is the right one, the process cannot accept anything other than a full and fair hearing of the evidence. Because if it’s allowed to railroad the guilty, the innocent will get caught under that train.


11 posted on 03/15/2013 11:27:47 PM PDT by ReignOfError
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To: coloradan

If the detective lied to put her on death row, justice requires that he be punished by the same fate that would have befallen her if his lies had stuck: death.


That’s just so Old Testament...


12 posted on 03/15/2013 11:28:14 PM PDT by S.O.S121.500 (Half black,half white.........SKUNK?........................ENFORCE THE BILL OF RIGHTS. Its the Law.)
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To: Aria
So I suppose it’s circumstantial but she sure sounds guilty to me. And I have to wonder what this history of lying is. Over zealousness?

The story lumped "lying" together with "failure to read Miranda right", so I wonder how much of a "liar" this detective actually is? Did he slightly exaggerate something against a real scumbag once, or did he totally fabricte stories? Cops are routinely accused of lying. If indeed the detective is a liar, show me the conviction(s) for perjury.

13 posted on 03/15/2013 11:30:29 PM PDT by Lancey Howard
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To: berdie

Man, my spelling is so poor on this post..I’m not even going to try to correct it.

Time to leave.....


14 posted on 03/15/2013 11:31:55 PM PDT by berdie
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To: ReignOfError

The detective ‘HAD a history’ in a past case or cases- however, Did the judge find that he infact lied under oath in this case? If not, then there shoudl have been a retrial- not an aquittal


15 posted on 03/15/2013 11:32:06 PM PDT by CottShop (Scientific belief does not constitute scientific evidence, nor does it convey scientific knowledge)
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To: Lancey Howard
http://www.cnn.com/2013/03/14/justice/arizona-death-sentence-overturned/index.html

There was no recording of the interrogation, no one else was in the room or watching from a two-way mirror, and Saldate said he threw away his notes shortly after completing his report.

...

Specifically, the judge noted that the detective had been suspended five days for taking "liberties" with a female motorist and lying about it to his supervisors; that judges had tossed out four confessions or indictments because Saldate had lied under oath; and that judges suppressed or vacated four confessions because Saldate had violated a person's constitutional rights.

If there's enough suspicious behavior and circumstantial evidence to put Milke to death, there's certainly enough suspicious behavior and circumstantial evidence on Saldate's part to cast doubt on his testimony. After he'd been slapped down eight previous times by judges, I'm not buying that he "failed to read Miranda right"; how many lessons does that take? He was either a compulsive liar or irredeemably stupid, and had no business still being a detective.

16 posted on 03/15/2013 11:38:12 PM PDT by ReignOfError
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To: Lancey Howard

Cops are accused of lying all the time because they can and do lie all the time.

It’s legal for a cop to lie to you while investigating, it’s illegal for you to lie to them.

It’s only perjury when they do it under oath.

This is why you never talk to the po-po.


17 posted on 03/15/2013 11:40:20 PM PDT by Valpal1
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To: CottShop
The detective ‘HAD a history’ in a past case or cases- however, Did the judge find that he infact lied under oath in this case? If not, then there shoudl have been a retrial- not an aquittal

There was not an acquittal. The verdict was vacated. The prosecutor has 30 days to decide whether to bring the charges again.

How would you prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the detective lied in this case? What he allegedly lied about was a confession with no one else in the room, no one observing, no recording, and he destroyed his notes. Because of his own actions, there is no evidence other than his word of the alleged confession.

18 posted on 03/15/2013 11:41:03 PM PDT by ReignOfError
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To: ReignOfError
Because if it’s allowed to railroad the guilty, the innocent will get caught under that train.

Yes, intellectually I can understand your point. Emotionally my instinct is she had her child murdered. Beyond unthinkable for me.

19 posted on 03/15/2013 11:49:07 PM PDT by Aria ( 2008 & 2012 weren't elections - they were coup d'etats.)
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To: Tublecane; ReignOfError

Why didn’t the judge order a new trial? if the witness is unreliable, isn’t that for a jury to decide? It seems like there wasn’t any proof he lied in this case.


20 posted on 03/16/2013 12:13:57 AM PDT by nickcarraway
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To: ReignOfError

It sounds to me like there was enough evidence to convict her without his testimony. Which is what the prosecutor should have done in the first place. If he knew this witness has such a history. Which it is his job to know.


21 posted on 03/16/2013 12:17:21 AM PDT by nickcarraway
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To: nickcarraway
Why didn’t the judge order a new trial?

It's not within the appeals court's power to force the prosecutor to bring charges again. That's within the prosecutor's discretion. This ruling leaves it in their hands.

if the witness is unreliable, isn’t that for a jury to decide?

Yes. The verdict was vacated because the fact of the witness' past lies was withheld from the defense and the jury.

It seems like there wasn’t any proof he lied in this case.

How could there be? He claimed that the defendant confessed in a closed room with no one else observing and no recording, and he destroyed his notes. Of course, you could lock him in a room with another detective and then say he confessed to lying about Milke's confession ...

22 posted on 03/16/2013 12:42:41 AM PDT by ReignOfError
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To: nickcarraway

It is now time for a pause for the Koz.

Alex Kozinski, that is, Chief Judge of the 9th Circuit. Listen as he pretty much destroys the unfortunate attorney charged with defending the corrupt cop in this case. The good part starts at around 39 minutes, 30 seconds:

http://www.ca9.uscourts.gov/media/view.php?pk_id=0000000065

Note: This is a complex case, procedurally. The are 2 oral arguments archived on the 9th Circuit site: The one above from 2008, and a later one (with the same panel of judges) in 2010, which is here:

http://www.ca9.uscourts.gov/media/view.php?pk_id=0000006463


23 posted on 03/16/2013 6:59:14 AM PDT by BCrago66
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To: Tublecane

I don’t know how you figure, because she was after all on death row, so you can get death for whatever it was she was convicted of. Second, I did say *if* his lies are what led to her sentence, then he should face the same punishment as she faced. If it was incidental, that’s different.

It might indeed sound Old Testamentish, as another wrote, but if someone frames a person for murder, I believe he should face murder charges even though he didn’t kill anyone, just as the framed person did (who also didn’t kill anyone). Similarly I would charge those women who knowingly and falsely claim rape, with rape charges. (e.g. Tawana Brawley.) Lying under oath when another’s life or freedom hangs in the balance ought to be discouraged.


24 posted on 03/16/2013 7:21:27 AM PDT by coloradan (The US has become a banana republic, except without the bananas - or the republic.)
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To: coloradan

“there is no evidence other than his word of the alleged confession.”

And therein lies the rub. The lady served 22 years of her life in jail for a crime for which there existed no physical evidence of her committing the crime. She’s going to get a very big payout at the end of all this.


25 posted on 03/16/2013 7:31:53 AM PDT by JCBreckenridge (Texas is a state of mind - Steinbeck)
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To: berdie

I’ve done that before. Looked at a post that was more fingers typing my thoughts rather than actually thinking grammatically about my response. I read it and think, ‘wow, I must look like I am in the third grade!’

We aren’t turning in term papers, just commenting on articles. I don’t believe you are illiterate, LOL!


26 posted on 03/16/2013 9:02:03 AM PDT by autumnraine (America how long will you be so deaf and dumb to thoe tumbril wheels carrying you to the guillotine?)
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To: nickcarraway

To me, the critical thing in this story is that neither of the two men would rat her out, even though they both are on death row themselves. Had they implicated her, one of them might have at least gotten life instead of death.

Without any other evidence against her, this is a slam dunk to dismissal or at least retrial.


27 posted on 03/16/2013 10:40:57 AM PDT by yefragetuwrabrumuy (Best WoT news at rantburg.com)
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To: ReignOfError

[[There was not an acquittal. The verdict was vacated. The prosecutor has 30 days to decide whether to bring the charges again]]

Thanks- i misunderstood

[[Because of his own actions, there is no evidence other than his word of the alleged confession.]]

I’m jusat tryign to think it through from legal standpoint- there’s also no evidence he did lie- only an assumption- I know it sucks for the victim or alleged victim in htis case, but the law is pretty specific when it coems to at the very least presentign enough evidence to show something beyond reasonable doubt- Doesn’t have to be rock solid evidence, but itm ust show BRD (althogh many times juries ignore this legal standard such as in oj trial and casey anthony case where there was more than enough BRD evidence to show motive and opportunity-

In thsi case there is far less evidence the cop lied- only a hunch- there is more ‘evidence’ that htere was a confession- albiet sketchy evidence (His word)

[[and he destroyed his notes.]]

That MIGHT be a line the defence coudl pursue IF it can be shown BYD that there were notes that were destroyed- but I woudl logically think it would be long shot

[[What he allegedly lied about was a confession with no one else in the room, no one observing, no recording, and he destroyed his notes]]

I woudl think that a better line to pursue might be shooting for a retrail due to fact cop didn’t follow protocol- defence might even be able to get aquittal for client based on that- I just think it’s goign to be too hard to prove he lied- from a legal standpoint


28 posted on 03/16/2013 10:54:42 AM PDT by CottShop (Scientific belief does not constitute scientific evidence, nor does it convey scientific knowledge)
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To: berdie

[[Man, my spelling is so poor on this post..I’m not even going to try to correct it.]]

You spelling was fien compared to mine


29 posted on 03/16/2013 10:56:15 AM PDT by CottShop (Scientific belief does not constitute scientific evidence, nor does it convey scientific knowledge)
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To: autumnraine

Thank you for being so generous!


30 posted on 03/16/2013 2:01:34 PM PDT by berdie
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To: CottShop

I still completely understood your post!


31 posted on 03/16/2013 2:02:55 PM PDT by berdie
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To: CottShop

The state has the burden of proving beyond a reasonable doubt that Milke killed her child. The cop’s past veracity problems could, in the eyes of the jury, constitute reasonable doubt.

The defense does not have to prove BRD that Saldate lied; just convince the jury that it’s likely enough that it constitutes reasonable doubt of MIlke’s guilt.

The BRD standard would apply if the state brought criminal charges against Saldate. I don’t think anyone is seriously contemplating that. The evidence just isn’t there.


32 posted on 03/16/2013 5:59:57 PM PDT by ReignOfError
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To: coloradan

***If the detective lied to put her on death row, justice requires that he be punished by the same fate that would have befallen her if his lies had stuck: death.***

That sounds familiar:

Deuteronomy 19:

18 And the judges shall make diligent inquisition: and, behold, if the witness be a false witness, and hath testified falsely against his brother;

19 Then shall ye do unto him, as he had thought to have done unto his brother: so shalt thou put the evil away from among you.

20 And those which remain shall hear, and fear, and shall henceforth commit no more any such evil among you.


33 posted on 03/16/2013 6:00:06 PM PDT by Graybeard58 (_.. ._. .. _. _._ __ ___ ._. . ___ ..._ ._ ._.. _ .. _. .)
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To: BCrago66
Alex Kozinski is famous in legal circles for opinions that are well and concisely written, and often funny to boot. Some of my favorite quotes:
34 posted on 03/16/2013 6:14:51 PM PDT by ReignOfError
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